Online Masters Degree Programs in Environmental Health

Essential Information

Online degree programs in environmental health are available at the master's level and can be found in fully online formats, though prerequisite coursework in the sciences may be required for admission. Those who work in research or postsecondary teaching generally need a master's degree or higher. Higher quality video and sound cards may be necessary equipment to participate in classes.

Online Master's Degree Program in Environmental Health

An online master's degree program in environmental health explores the impact that environmental factors, such as industrial hygiene, food safety and water quality, have on public health. Emphasis is often placed on the need for environmental health protections in occupational safety, as well as the business and regulatory aspects of environmental health and safety. Environmental health programs generally focus on areas such as air and water risk assessment, toxicology, hazardous waste management, environmental education and pollution prevention. Graduates should be prepared to develop and implement environmental health management programs and systems.

Program Information and Requirements

Online environmental health master's degree programs are sometimes offered as a Master of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They may also be required to have prerequisite coursework in areas such as geology, biochemistry, microbiology and chemistry. With programs emphasizing research skills, students are sometimes required to complete a research paper or thesis.

Many times students are able to view classroom lectures via web conferencing or download audio recordings of lectures. In order to take advantage of online aspects such as streaming video, computer requirements may include a current operating system, whether Windows or Mac, a cable or DSL Internet connection, a video card and a sound card.

Sample Master's-Level Environmental Health Coursework

A master's-level environmental health curriculum examines factors impacting public wellness and ways to improve and sustain the environment.


An epidemiology course focuses on disease and other factors impacting the health of populations. The course may examine areas such as morbidity data, research methods, disease causation models and data interpretation.


This course focuses on the study and use of statistical and computational methods for health and biological research. Areas of study include random variable distribution, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, distribution free methods and variance analysis.

Public Health Policy

A public health policy course focuses on policy development, from idea to application. The course generally covers the role politics play in public health, as well as public health management and the implementation of public health programs.

Community Health

This course explores various aspects of community health, such as education, assessment and research. Topics covered include health promotion, health program planning, group assessment strategies and health service coordination.

Career Information

Online master's degree programs in environmental health are commonly suited for environmental health professionals seeking career advancement in the private or public sector. Employment settings for environmental health degree-holders include regulatory and health agencies or academic institutions. Potential job titles include environmental health scientist, loss prevention officer, environmental oversight manager, environmental planner, environmental safety specialist and environmental manager.

Continuing Education Information

Although doctorate programs specifically in environmental health are uncommon, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) programs are readily available. A few programs may even be completed partially online; a hybrid format, requiring periodic on-campus meetings and sessions, is common for this area of study. Environmental health is a typical area of focus within a DrPH program. Programs at the doctoral level have a deeper focus on leadership, administration and original research related to the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment.

Those in online environmental health master's programs study elements that affect the environment and they learn how to develop programs for the sake of public health and safety. These programs are typically designed for professionals who want to advance their careers.

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